Matthew Boyle successfully resists claim against employer of cleaner who was violently assaulted – Central London County Court
In this liability only trial, C was a cleaner at a shopping centre employed by the Defendant cleaning company. She was subjected to a violent assault by a stranger who gained entry to the centre.
Her case was that the employer should have ensured tighter security arrangements at the centre, that she should not have been permitted to work alone and/or should have been provided with a personal alarm.
In rejecting the claim, Recorder Chelmick concluded that the assault was not reasonably foreseeable to C’s employers. The cleaning company was not the occupier of the premises and was under no duty to secure tighter physical security at the building. In the absence of a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury there was no duty to prevent lone working or to supply a personal alarm.
Given the sustained nature of the assault it is unlikely that any of the measures contended for by C would have prevented the assault in any event.
Matthew Boyle was instructed for the defendants, Greenzone Cleaning & Support Services Ltd, by Julian Dexter, Keoghs.